Demolitions, renovations and a new one-way system: developments to watch in Stockton in 2022

It has been a busy 2021 across Stockton.

But next year promises many events, decisions and developments to come.

Here are five of the top ones to watch out for.

Go here for the latest regional affairs and Teesside politics news

Demolition of the castle gate

The face and skyline of Stockton’s High Street will change again next year.

Castlegate is to be demolished next to the old Swallow Hotel.

Negotiations with some of its remaining tenants are continuing, with a number having moved to Wellington Square, owned by the council.

Designed by corrupt architect John Poulson, Castlegate opened in 1972.

Stockton Council paid £ 13.8million to take control of the mall and the nearby old Swallow in 2019.

They will be replaced by an ambitious riverside park three times the size of Trafalgar Square to open up the city to the river with green spaces and venues for events.

The park and new office buildings have a target completion date of 2025.

North Tees Cash Offer

North Tees Hospital in Stockton

The crumbling North Tees University Hospital is in desperate need of replacement.

Frozen pipes, broken ceiling panels and leaking roofs hamper efforts to keep the Hardwick site in working order.

It costs £ 8million a year just to keep North Tees in its current state of fatigue – and trusted executives have warned that there are only 10 years left at the site before it needs to be fully replaced,

The Trust Chiefs have crafted a £ 380million vision to give Stockton and Hartlepool a 21st century site.

North Tees did not make an initial list of the 32 new hospital sites announced by the government in 2020.

But MPs for Stockton and Hartlepool both backed North Tees’ new offer to be included in eight additional sites proposed for work by 2030.

North Tees will know if he made the cut in the spring.

Renovation of the town hall of Thornaby and Yarm

Thornaby Town Hall
Thornaby Town Hall

Two historic town halls are also planned for a major 2022.

Long-awaited efforts to convert Yarm’s Grade II-listed Town Hall into a heritage center should bear fruit.

Council officials say work will begin in the spring after clearance and bids are sorted.

Construction and renovations are then expected to take around six to eight months, with hopes of completing the redesign by the end of 2022.

Money from the £ 20million ‘leveling fund’ allocation to Stockton South is to help pay for the £ 600,000 overhaul.

Further north, efforts to revitalize Thornaby Town Hall are nearing completion.

Thornaby City Council purchased the 127-year-old Hall from Stockton Council in 2012 following a legal dispute.

Most of it has remained unused and decaying since 1968.

But money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a public works loan helped with the renovation – with the upstairs bedroom restored to its former glory with hopes that it will host weddings soon.

Several offices were also created in the 19th century room with longer term hopes of leasing space.

Covid and vandalism hampered efforts, but the room is expected to open to the Thornaby public for a look in the early months of the year.

One-way Norton system

Computer generated imagery shows potential for flexible events to take place in a variety of locations
Computer generated imagery shows potential for flexible events that can take place in a variety of locations

Norton’s High Street saw construction in 2021 – with a new replacement foundation at Duck Pond.

Improvements were made to the perimeter path, steps, railing and seating in the spring.

But big changes are also underway at the southern end of the village center.

A one-way loop from Norton Road and to the roundabout near the Red Lion pub has been planned to cope with Norton’s increase in footfall.

The plans would see Harland Place pedestrianized – with the two-way High Street portion of Norton Road transformed into a one-way road heading north.

More than a dozen additional parking spaces are also expected to be created with the possibility of closing the road to create market days for traders.

Taxi spaces are also planned, with the space outside Costa Coffee also planned for an overhaul.

Another consultation is planned for the first semester.

But council officials say work could start in the summer and last about six months.

Billingham station is working

Current access to Billingham station
Current access to Billingham station

Difficulties in accessing Billingham station have led to years of pleading for something to be done.

However, 2022 should be the year it finally sees some action – with a new walkway, elevators and parking lots.

Some disabled passengers were forced to take taxis to nearby stations to board trains passing through Billingham.

But money from the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA), Stockton Council and Network Rail will get work started in March next year – with a target for completion in November 2022.

However, a question mark still hangs over what will happen to the city’s western walls next year.

Stockton Council has announced plans to buy the shopping district from owner St Modwen in an effort to rebalance its retail offering and manage vacancy rates.

The efforts were hit with a hammer blow when his £ 20million upgrade bid failed – prompting heavy criticism from frontman Cllr Bob Cook.

The authority is expected to submit another offer for the second round of the fund in 2022.

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